Universal Air Travel Plan’s (UATP) payments processing unit bucked
the weak trend in air travel in 2008 by achieving a record volume
of $12 billion, up 20 percent compared with 2007.
“UATP’s alternate form of payment
processing business has taken off in 2008,” commented UATP’s CEO
Initiated in late-2005, UATP’s payments
processing service complements its UATP Settlement Service (USS),
an in-house, proprietary settlement system which enables travel
agency and low-cost air carrier payment processing to be conducted
outside of normal channels.
Designed as a low-cost alternative to credit
cards, UATP’s accounts are accepted as payment for corporate
business travel by airlines and travel agencies worldwide. At
present UATP accounts are issued to corporate subscribers by 10
airlines including American Airlines, Delta, Northwest, Japan
Airlines and Qantas.
In addition, German travel payments solution
supplier AirPlus International issues a UATP-based company accounts
for British Airways, Continental Airlines and Lufthansa.
UATP accounts are accepted as payment for
corporate business travel worldwide by a substantial number of
merchants. These include:
• 240 airlines representing 95 percent of
scheduled worldwide available seat kilometres;
• Major rail carriers in the US and Europe;
• 40 of the world’s top 100 travel
Despite the current adverse economic climate,
Kaiser is confident on UATP’s prospects.
“While we see challenges from an overall
decrease in travel spending in the upcoming year, there are enough
growth drivers in our business to continue to be optimistic about
our performance in 2009,” he commented.
UATP’s initiatives include expanding its
merchant base via USS to include hotels and rental car companies, a
development UATP predicts will add “significant charge volume” to
UATP’s payment processing unit, which
comprises only 38 staff members, also undertakes work for alternate
online payment brands including Acculynk, BillMeLater, HomeATM,
Moneta and PayPal.